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Author Archives: MCFB

NEW LAWS SET STAGE FOR ILLINOIS HEMP

Industrial hemp is set to make a comeback in Illinois thanks to a new state law and the federally-approved farm bill. Not widely grown since the 1930s, Illinois farmers now only are waiting on the Illinois Department of Agriculture to determine and announce rules for hemp production, including how many acres can be planted and… read more

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LOYAL NO MORE?

A financing drought may be cracking farmers’ loyalty to President Donald Trump. According to the USDA, U.S. farm debt rose by 30 percent to $410 billion over the last five years, making credit tougher to come by. Additionally, the farm sector’s return on assets is down to 2.6 percent, well below the nearly 30-year average… read more

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IDOA DIRECTOR TO RETIRE

IDOA Director Raymond Poe, who served in the Illinois House for two decades before being named to the run the department in 2015, announced he’s retiring at the end of the year. Gov. Bruce Rauner named Warren Goetsch to serve as director on a temporary basis beginning Jan. 1, though Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is expected… read more

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NEW YEAR, NEW LAWS

The new year ushers in new state laws, including some of particular interest to farmers and agriculture. Be sure to check FarmWeekNow.com to get an update on Illinois Farm Bureau state legislative priorities passed during the 2018 legislative session

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RECORD HARVEST, UNCERTAINTY FOR FARMERS

Next to record harvests for 2018, Illinois farmers also are experiencing near-record anxiety due to the ongoing trade uncertainty with China. “Now, unfortunately, we find out very quickly how reliant we’ve become on being able to move our products internationally,” said Mark Gebhards, executive director for Governmental Affairs and Commodities at IFB. “And it was… read more

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ZINKE RESIGNS

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke submitted his resignation to the White House Saturday after facing intense pressure to step down because of multiple probes tied to his real estate dealings in his home state of Montana and his conduct in office. Zinke is the fourth member of Trump’s Cabinet to resign amid questionable ethics in less… read more

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FARMERS APPLAUD WATER REG CHANGE

Illinois farmers are cheering the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule changes to loosen federal regulations on the nation’s waterways. “This new proposal could really start to look at the issue in a way that makes sense to the normal public,” said Lauren Lurkins, IFB. “A farmer should be able to stand in… read more

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DELAY, DELAY, DELAY

Gallup’s annual Health and Healthcare poll once again found roughly 30 percent of Americans held off seeking some kind of medical treatment in the past year due to costs. The most recent data is consistent with the rate seen each year since 2005 but is up from an average of 24 percent in the four… read more

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FALL WEATHER HEADACHES

Wet conditions and early freezes this fall are setting crop and livestock producers up for a long spring. The 19th-wettest September on record for Illinois meant delaying fertilizer applications and tillage work for many crop farmers. On the livestock side, the muddy fall and early end to grazing season meant many farmers had to break… read more

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FARMERS PRAISE FARM BILL PROGRESS

Illinois farmers are lauding a deal on the farm bill, which moved out of committee and passed the Senate Tuesday. “This is an extremely important piece of legislation for our farmers to provide that certainty, the risk management tools that they need especially at a time that we’ve been dealing with such uncertainty from a… read more

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